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Artifact - Essay Example

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Summary
Oedipus the King is one of the most influential stories that helped shape Western literature. The great Greek tragedy tells the story of the hero Oedipus and his fate. The entire plot of the story takes place in a short span of time but chronicles decades in the lives of the characters…
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Artifact

Download file to see previous pages... It starts out with the caucus in the house of Oedipus as the kingdom of Thebes is under a plague which has led the people to drought, hunger and suffering. The people are calling to the gods in fervent prayer that the kingdom does not suffer its downfall. Oedipus meets them to query on what they are doing and calms them as an answer to their prayers is soon to come. Hence he assures them and gives his promise that he will do everything to put an end to it. Creon utters what will be the solution from the gathered information and that is to punish the killer of Laius, the previous King whom Oedipus succeeded. This is where the plot thickens and the entanglements of their relationships unfold. Forewarned by a prophecy that a son born to Laius and Jocasta would slay his own father and marry his mother to father his very siblings, Laius ordered the death of his son upon its birth. Bound by the feet, thus Oedipus’ name, and abandoned in Mt. Cithaeron, the king had presumed that what had been foretold had been prevented. But the baby survived and was saved by the shepherd who found him in the mountain. Upon his delivery to Polybus of Corinth there had been an incident of another slurring in a banquet wherein he was jested as not being a true son of his recognized parents. Then he sought the truth from Apollo and was informed of the same prophecy already known to Laius and Jocasta “Woes, lamentations, mourning, portents dire; To wit I should defile my mother’s bed. And raise up seed too loathsome to behold. And slay the father from whose loins I sprang” (Sophocles trans. Storr, 1999/1912). Oediopus left Corinth in search of his destiny. On his journey he met a man who humiliated him. Contrary to the belief that Laius was killed by robbers, it was in Oedipus’ own hands that his life came to an end. Thereafter, he came to Thebes and was hailed for solving the riddle of the Sphinx and gained the love of the people who suffered therefrom. He was made the king by the people and assumed himself in the position that was formerly belonging to Laius. This included everything from his riches down to his queen widowed by the former’s death. Under his rule, the kingdom of Thebes was in a prosperous state and flourished until the advent of the succeeding plague which haunted the king in search of its end. Oedipus was firm in ensuring the people that they are not to worry and that he will be able to put an end to the plague in the same way that he had previously done with the Sphinx. Driven by this promise, he sets out to find the culprit and initially blaming Creon as the mastermind in a plot to oust him from his throne. But what unfolded was something that was beyond his contemplation. His own history and the prophecy came together to reveal the biggest irony of his quest. Teiresias, the kingdom’s greatest oracle reveals the link between Laius and Oedipus. The king had been reluctant to accept the reality of the prophecy and to what it means in his identity. The blind prophet had been accused many things in his denial but was later vindicated by the inevitable truth that has been stabbing at Oedipus all along. Like many of the unwanted realities that men exert all effort to evade, the Greek hero was the same. But ultimately the truth shall prevail and that fate is inescapable though we may try hard to do so. There are voices of reason that should have ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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